If you or your employees transport products then you need inland marine insurance.
Don’t be confused by the term “marine” when considering this type of insurance – inland marine insurance covers products, materials, and equipment that are transported over land by truck, train, car, or other vehicles.
It also covers the time(s) that these products, materials, or equipment might be temporarily housed in a third party warehouse or similar.
In the United States, inland marine insurance indemnifies loss to movable or specialized types of vehicles and related assets; it was developed as an outgrowth of ocean marine insurance (which is similar but applies to ocean-going crafts and vessels).
Collisions or accidents as well as cargo theft are the main reasons for inland marine insurance payouts.
What is Inland Marine Insurance?
Inland marine insurance is meant to cover materials, equipment, and product that is being transported.
While commercial liability insurance, your business owners’ insurance policy, or your commercial package policy may cover many types of businesses, there are plenty of reasons why you might need inland marine insurance as well.
Note that the aforementioned types of insurance cover property housed and maintained at a specific location and perhaps nearby job sites, but not equipment or products that are shipped over significant distances or employees that travel with products, materials, or equipment.
If your business involves frequently shipping products, equipment, and other materials, you may need inland marine insurance.
This is especially true if you regularly ship things – especially high value merchandise, materials, or equipment that are excluded from more basic coverage. These types of items are often excluded from basic commercial insurance or property coverage.
The items that you may need inland marine insurance for include computers and related equipment of all kinds (everything from servers to laptops), communications and networking equipment, cameras and photography equipment, construction and contracting equipment, medical equipment and supplies, and scientific equipment.
Why Do You Need Inland Marine Insurance?
You may not think that you need inland marine insurance for your business, but if you regularly move property for others or if you regularly ship or store valuables off-site (think anything from a tradeshow booth to specialized construction equipment), then you need inland marine insurance.
If the property of other businesses or individuals is regularly in the hands of you or your employees, then you also need inland marine insurance (think moving companies, shipping or freight companies, or any other forms of transportation providers).
Following are examples of items that require inland marine insurance if you or your employees transport them:
- Builders’ Risk
- Camera and Photographic Equipment
- Communication Towers and Equipment
- Computer Coverage
- Contractors Equipment
- Commercial Floaters
- Fine Art
- Golf Equipment
- Fine Jewelry
- Leased Property
- Mobile Medical Equipment
- Motor Truck Cargo
- Musical Instruments
- Processing Risks
- Scheduled Property
- Trip Transit
- Valuable Papers
- Warehouse Legal
What Type(s) of Inland Marine Insurance Do You Need?
A commercial property special form covers property in transit up to certain amounts, but inland marine insurance can cover the rest if you have the proper policy.
Some specific items that you may need inland marine insurance to transport are computers, servers, and related equipment, communications and networking equipment, construction equipment and related tools (including those that belong to contractors or consultants), medical equipment, scientific equipment, and photography equipment.
How Do You Choose the Right Type of Inland Marine Insurance?
Whether or not you need inland marine insurance and how much coverage you require depends on your business and the kinds of goods, materials, or equipment that you or your employees regularly transport.
If you or your employees are responsible for property in transit, property in the custody of a bailee, computers and other networking equipment, property that is considered to be an instrument of transportation or communication such as construction material for roads and bridges or radio towers, mobile medical equipment, and equipment belonging to contractors, then you may need a specific type or types of inland marine insurance.
What Other Types of Insurance Are Related to Inland Marine Insurance?
Actual marine insurance may apply if you own a boat or other type of watercraft, or if you ship products, materials, or equipment overseas.
Commercial auto insurance may also be necessary if you or your employees are driving vehicles owned by your business, or perhaps even their own vehicles (in the case that you hire contractors).
Other types of liability insurance may also be advisable depending on the types of goods or supplies that your company transports.
Contact the ASCO Insurance team to determine the best inland marine insurance policy tailored to you.